The Mid-Autumn Festival 2021
The Mid-Autumn Festival is also known as the Moon Festival or the Mooncake Festival. It traditionally falls on the 15th day of the eighth month of the Chinese lunar calendar, which is usually around late September. This year, in 2021, the Mid-Autumn Festival falls on September 21st, Tuesday.
Chinese people celebrate this festival by gathering for dinners, worshiping the moon, lighting paper lanterns, eating mooncakes, etc. The full moon is the symbol of family reunions in Chinese culture. Some believed that the moon on the night of Mid-Autumn Festival is the brightest and the most beautiful.
There are various legends about the moon for the Mid-Autumn Festival, with Chang Er living in the moon being the most famous. There are a few variations of the tale. One of them goes like this…
In ancient times, ten suns existed in the sky and the extreme heat made people’s lives very difficult. It was the hero Hou Yi, who, using his great strength, shot down nine of the ten suns. As a reward, Hou Yi was gifted an elixir which, if taken, would help him to ascend to heaven and become a god. Hou Yi didn’t want to take it alone, took it home, and asked his wife, Chang Er, to keep it. Unfortunately, a villain named Pengmeng got to know this, broke into their home, and demanded Chang Er hand over the elixir while Hou Yi was out hunting. In a moment of desperation, Chang Er swallowed the elixir. Reluctant to leave his husband, Chang Er tried her best to fly to the moon, the nearest place to the earth in heaven. Houyi missed Chang Er a lot, so on the day of the full moon, he placed on tables foods that Chang Er liked. This custom was later followed by folk people praying to the Goddess Chang Er for good luck and gradually formed the Mid-Autumn Festival.
Another popular legend is about the rabbit in the moon. The Mid-Autumn Festival rabbit story goes about that three immortals reincarnated themselves into three poor old people and begged food from a fox, a monkey, and a rabbit. The fox and monkey both found and gave food to the immortals. However, the rabbit did not have any food. It then said to the immortals: “you can eat me” and jumped into the fire. The immortals were so moved by the rabbit and sent it to the moon to become an immortal jade rabbit. Ever since then, the jade rabbit stays in the Moon Palace to accompany Chang Er and pounds immortal medicine for those living in heaven.
With that, Arthesdam Jewellery wishes everybody a Happy Mid-Autumn Festival in advance!
References and credits: